Category Archives: Campus News

Names in the News: Sewell ’86 on Selma Today, Touring China with Hessler ’92, and More

Rep. Terri Sewell ’86, third from right, took part in the March 7 Selma commemoration with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Rep. Terri Sewell ’86, third from right, took part in the March 7 Selma commemoration with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In a piece for the Washington Post, style writer Krissah Thompson followed Rep. TERRI SEWELL ’86, D-Ala., to her hometown of Selma. Sewell and her family and friends reflected on the city’s historic significance and the way Selma has faltered in the years since Sewell graduated as a debate champion from the city’s fully integrated public high school — now effectively resegregated and without the celebrated debate team. “We need to live Selma and know that the assaults of the past are here again,” Sewell said during an address delivered at Selma’s Brown Chapel A.M.E. “Old battles are here again.”

Author PETER HESSLER ’92 wrote in The New Yorker about his experience traveling on a publicity tour in Beijing with the Chinese censor of his books. The story goes on to consider more broadly his experience as an American author writing about China, and the role of his Chinese translators — whose censorship, he says, is a sort of “defensive” censorship intended to circumvent entirely any negative attention from officials. Of recent articles that are critical of American writers who accept manuscript changes so that they can publish in China, Hessler writes, “The articles tend to take a narrowly Western perspective. … This was one reason I went on the tour — I figured that the best way to understand censorship is to spend a week with your censor.”

For 15 years, Sepp Blatter has been president of FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. Now, as FIFA’s reputation continues to spiral downward, Blatter faces a number of potential challengers in the next election. One of them is Prince ALI BIN AL HUSSEIN ’99 of Jordan. In an interview with The New York Times, Prince Ali called for more transparency, more collaborative decision-making, and more financial accountability to FIFA’s member nations. Continue reading

Legendary Singer Paul Simon Speaks About Creating Songs, and Joy

Paul Simon performs at Richardson Auditorium March 3. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

Paul Simon performs at Richardson Auditorium March 3. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

Singer and songwriter Paul Simon was more interested in baseball than music as a child, he told an audience of Princeton students, faculty, and staff in a conversation with creative writing professor Paul Muldoon in Richardson Auditorium March 3.

Simon, who first emerged on the music scene as a teenager as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel, discussed the purpose of art and how he gets ideas for his lyrics, and closed the event by singing “The Sound of Silence.” He also played a recording of a new song, “The Insomniac’s Lullaby.” The event opened with a cappella group the Nassoons singing several of Simon’s songs.

Creating art “is about emotions, trying to reach other people. It’s about art as beauty,” Simon said. Discussing whether one should donate money to help cure a disease or fund a museum, Simon explained the importance of art for him: “If we don’t acknowledge the highest part of our humanity, it’s not a full picture. It’s not who we are. It doesn’t examine joy enough. That’s the privilege of being a human being.” Continue reading

Names in the News: Smith To Head Swarthmore, Singer ’97 on the Rise of Robots, and More

Princeton Dean Valerie Smith will be Swarthmore’s next president. (Brian Wilson/Office of Communications)

Princeton Dean Valerie Smith will be Swarthmore’s next president. (Brian Wilson/Office of Communications)

Dean of the College VALERIE SMITH was named the 15th president of Swarthmore College on Feb. 21. She will be Swarthmore’s first African American president, as well as its second female president. At Princeton, Smith was also the founding director of the Center for American Studies and is currently the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature and a professor of English and African American Studies. She will begin her duties at Swarthmore on July 1. In a Philadephia Inquirer interview, Gil Kemp, chair of Swarthmore’s board of trustees, said of Smith, “I think this is a marvelous fit … Her awareness of our distinctive competence, focus on academic rigor, commitment to the common good — it’s a marvelous confluence.”

In an op-ed for CNN.com, New America Foundation Strategist and Senior Fellow PETER W. SINGER ’97 writes about the rise of the robot in modern warfare. As robots become increasingly more automated, he explains, debates over their place in battle have become more complicated. He concludes, however, that “one thing is clear: Like the present, the future of war will be robotic.”

Former Tennessee senator BILL FRIST ’74 and former Georgia representative JIM MARSHALL ’72 penned a Washington Post op-ed about their suggested reforms to the Veterans Health Administration. Their piece coincided with the release of a report by the Fixing Veterans Health Care task force, of which Frist and Marshall are co-chairs. Continue reading

Cross-Generational Career Tips: Classes of ’66, ’91, and ’16 Gather for Networking Event

Much has changed at Princeton between 1966 and today, but alumni can still recall the anxiety of deciding what to do after graduation. Through a special networking evening for the Class of 2016, members of the Class of 1966 and Class of 1991 returned to campus Feb. 24 to offer career advice and encourage current students to follow their passions.

The networking event helped to expose students to a wide range of fields, including law, finance, technology, and nonprofits, and revealed the nonlinear career paths of successful alumni. Planned in conjunction with Career Services, there were 48 students and 10 alumni at the event.

Students like Tiffany Chen ’16 said they enjoyed hearing anecdotes from alumni about their changing career goals. “For me, this was really reassuring and inspiring to see how many people didn’t have plans or completely went off what they were going to do. I don’t know yet what I want to do, and it’s nice to know that I’ll be OK eventually,” Chen said. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton Gothic

(PAW Archives/Bruce Beckner ’71)

(PAW Archives/Bruce Beckner ’71)

Elizabeth Emerson ’73 and Herman Reepmeyer ’72 posed for this Grant Wood-esque PAW cover photo in 1971. The story inside profiled “student artisans” — young men and women with hobbies fit for the frontier, including weaving, glassmaking, pottery, and woodcarving. Sociology major Michael Rodemeyer ’72 interviewed four students, including Emily Bonacarti ’73, who had traveled to Sweden in the summer to learn more about weaving. “There was a time when you had to know these crafts to survive,” she said. “Today people are getting lost in the technology. They want to know they can do something.”

The magazine also mentioned a small but growing interest in vegetarian diets and farm-fresh produce. That seed blossomed on the campus and has continued to grow in the last decade with the creation of a student-run organic garden, new sustainability initiatives in Dining Services, continued interest in the vegetarian 2 Dickinson co-op (founded in 1977), and more.